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Form 1096 for 2016: Summarizing Information Returns

Form 1096: Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns

Brace yourself — tax season 2017 has come! It means you have a lot of paperwork ahead. But there is still some time left before April 18 for you to file returns and pay taxes on the income earned in 2016. Lots of forms have to be completed by the end of February 2017 and Form 1096 is one of such urgent tasks.

If you’ve already filed your taxes, you probably know that completing form 1096 or Annual Summary and Transmittal of Information Returns is a daunting and time-consuming process. To make things worse, its due date is constantly changing, so it may be difficult to stay up to date. However, there is no reason to panic: take a deep breath and read the short guide to filing form 1096.

What is form 1096?

Naturally, that’s the first question that comes to mind. The IRS Form 1096 is a compilation form, which provides totals for all information forms that you submitted to the IRS and recipients. Keep in mind that there is a separate 1096 for every type of information return given to a recipient.

Who has to file a 1096?

The answer depends on which one of the thirty information forms listed on the 1096 you are submitting to the IRS and to recipients. Usually, the filers are financial institutions, corporate or small business payrolls, educational institutions, government units, insurance companies, brokers, mortgage lenders, real estate agent closing sales, multiple homeowners, subsequent loan holders, multiple lenders, small businesses, corporations, casino, lottery, racetracks or other gambling operations. If you are one of the filers listed, it’s likely you’ll need to file this form.

Is there a penalty if I don’t include a 1096 with my forms?

According to the law, the IRS may penalize you both for wrong filing and for a missed deadline. The same rule works for the 1096 form. An important thing to keep in mind though, is that the 1096 form must accompany all PAPER filed Forms, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, or W-2G, all grouped by form number. In addition, you have to attach a separate 1096 form to each group of forms.

If you file up to 250 returns on paper, those returns will not be subject to a penalty for failure to file electronically. If you file late, the penalty starts at $30 per informational return and depends on how late you submit Form 1096 and the form filings.

When is the 1096 form due?

Usually, the filing date for the form 1096 falls on the last business day of February. In 2017, it’s February 28. However, it is advisable that you check the deadline for the specific form that you are submitting. Most of the forms you are going to submit by paper are due the last business day in February. They are forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, or W-2G, filed on paper. Consequently you should also file Form 1096 with paper forms. But this is just half the battle. You’ll also have to file Form 1096 with the rest of the forms such as 5498, 5498-ESA, and 5498-SA by May 31, 2017.

The deadline may be pushed to the next business day if the regular due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Keep up with all the due dates to prevent yourself from getting penalized.

How do I fill out a 1096 form?

Before you start filling out your 1096 form let us remind you that form 1096 must accompany all PAPER filed Forms, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, or W-2G. Moreover, you must also group the forms by form number and attach a separate form 1096 to each group of forms.

The structure looks similar to last year’s version of the 1096. First, provide your company’s name and address and contact information. Next, include either an EIN or Social Security Number. After that, indicate the total number of forms that you are sending to the IRS and add it to Box 3. In Box 4, enter the total amount of Federal income tax withheld on all the forms you are submitting. In Box 5, enter the total amount of reported payments on all forms you are submitting. In Box 6, enter an “x” in the box for the type of form you are submitting. To make the whole filing procedure less confusing, try using PDFfiller. This way you can enter all the data accurately, sign your form electronically and send it out by the due date. Those who are interested can check out the following video to learn more about how to fill out Form 1096.